A study has just been published in the British Medical Journal measuring the effectiveness of Google as a clinical decision support tool to help in the diagnosis of different complex clinical conditions. The results... remarkably effective. See summary below and link to the detailed article.
Have you had any experience using Google or other clinical decision support tools in your practice either in conjunction with your EMR or as standalone tools if you do not have an EMR or access to your EMR at times? If so, please share those experiences. What web based clinical decision support tools are you using? UptoDate, MD consult, Lexi-Online, ePocrates online or any others you find useful.
Objective: To determine how often searching with Google (the most popular search engine on the world wide web) leads doctors to the correct diagnosis.
Design: Internet based study using Google to search for diagnoses; researchers were blind to the correct diagnoses.
Setting: One year's (2005) diagnostic cases published in the case records of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Cases: 26 cases from the New England Journal of Medicine; management cases were excluded.
Main outcome measure: Percentage of correct diagnoses from Google searches (compared with the diagnoses as published in the New England Journal of Medicine).
Results: Google searches revealed the correct diagnosis in 15 (58%, 95% confidence interval 38% to 77%) cases.
Conclusion: As internet access becomes more readily available in outpatient clinics and hospital wards, the web is rapidly becoming an important clinical tool for doctors. The use of web based searching may help doctors to diagnose difficult cases Link: Googling for a diagnosis--use of Google as a diagnostic aid: internet based study -- Tang and Ng, 10.1136/bmj.39003.640567.AE -- BMJ.
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